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Escape from Christchurch Men’s Prison

18 August 2005 For immediate release

Escape from Christchurch Men’s Prison

The Department of Corrections confirms that a prisoner escaped late last night.

Brendon Shiels, a high medium security prisoner, escaped from Christchurch Men’s Prison.

Public Prisons Service General Manager Phil McCarthy says staff acted immediately when Shiels was observed on security monitors attempting to escape.

“It is too soon to provide detail about the escape, but early indications are that staff acted appropriately but were unable to prevent the escape.

“The Police were also contacted immediately.”

Corrections has launched an investigation into the escape, and will release further details once the investigation has been completed and the findings considered by the Department’s Assurance Board.

Mr McCarthy says Corrections has implemented a nationwide tool checking procedure to ensure workers’ tools and equipment were kept secure, after a prisoner used contractors’ equipment to escape last year.

“At this early stage it appears that all ladders and tools at the Prison were locked way and secure.”

“Christchurch Prison management is also urgently reviewing last night’s events to identify any additional measures the Prison needs to take in the interim to prevent future escapes.”

Shiels is facing additional criminal charges following a serious assault on a corrections officer earlier this year. He is considered dangerous and should not be approached.

ENDS

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